Lexical quality of English language writing of undergraduate students in Indonesia

Christiana Sidupa, F. X. Rahyono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Writing is a thinking process in which the writer is always making decisions on lexical choices, structural options and possible organization of information and ideas. Lexical quality is multidimensional, thus it cannot be evaluated as a single indicator but rather through a composite of diverse factors that, while distinct, are interrelated. It covers lexical density, diversity, and sophistication. The specific objective of this study was to characterize, using a comprehensive set of indicators, the quality of vocabulary produced by two different proficiency levels of 150 undergraduate students: intermediate and upper−intermediate. Qualitative method was used in this reseach. The method of data collection included textual analysis from the samples of students' written argumentative texts as the primary data that had been collected chronologically consisting 75 texts from elementary students and other 75 from upper−intermediate students. The results showed that learners at the lower level surprisingly used more percentage of advanced words than those students at the higher level. This implied that high learners' proficiency level did not lead to improvement in lexical sophistication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalAsian EFL Journal
Issue number62
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Diversity
  • Lexical density
  • Lexical quality
  • Sophistication


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